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  • Nasima Akter

Top 5 South Asian Actresses that are making a splash in Hollywood

Top 5 South Asian Actresses that are making a splash in Hollywood

In the realm of Hollywood, a powerful and transformative presence is being felt as South Asian actresses surge onto the global stage. With a fusion of talent, beauty, and charisma, these actresses are reshaping the industry's landscape. Hailing from diverse South Asian backgrounds, they bring unique perspectives to their roles, captivating audiences and dismantling stereotypes. Through their exceptional performances, these trailblazing women are breaking barriers and fostering greater cultural inclusivity in cinema. As they continue to shine in a traditionally Western-dominated industry, South Asian actresses are undeniably becoming a dynamic force, heralding a new era of representation and influence in Hollywood.

Anya Chalotra

Anya Chalotra, a name now resonating with followers of The Witcher, secured her initial major breakthrough in 2019 through the acclaimed Netflix fantasy drama series. Her journey commenced with dedicated training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Recognized as one of Screen Daily's distinguished Stars of Tomorrow in 2020, she swiftly evolved into a highly sought-after emerging luminary. Her talents shone prominently in Sky Arts' specialized short film feature, No Masks. With a rich blend of Indian and British heritage, Chalotra maintains a versatile trajectory, exemplified by her active pursuit of Hindi language proficiency. Fondly recalling her Bollywood upbringing, she articulated her cultural connection, reflecting on how it was a conduit for her father to share his heritage.

Iman Vellani

Casting Kamala Khan in the Ms. Marvel series wasn't easy. But Iman Vellani, an actress from Pakistan living in Canada, impressed everyone in the show on Disney+ in 2022. People loved her acting in her first big role. Now, she will play Kamala again in a new movie called The Marvels, which comes after the 2019 movie Captain Marvel. Iman recently talked about how this role helped her feel more connected to her Pakistani background. She said that before the show, she didn't really think about being Pakistani and didn't feel like she belonged to that culture. But being part of this show changed that for her.

Iman Vellani was born in Karachi, Pakistan. When she was just one year old, she moved to Canada. She didn't feel like she was strongly connected to Pakistan. She didn't have Pakistani friends who were like her, who were Muslim. She finished high school at Unionville High School in Markham, Ontario. In 2019, she got chosen to be part of the TIFF Next Wave Committee during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Alia Bhatt

Actress Alia Bhatt, born to Indian film director Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan, has followed in their footsteps and become a prominent figure in Bollywood.

Her dad comes from a Gujarati background, and her mom's mix is Kashmiri Pandit and British German. She holds citizenship in Britain. She's got an older sister named Shaheen, and two half-siblings, Pooja and Rahul Bhatt. On her dad's side, she's related to actor Emraan Hashmi and director Mohit Suri. Her uncle is producer Mukesh Bhatt. She went to Jamnabai Narsee School, but she left school during her twelfth grade to chase acting.

With a career spanning over a decade, the 30-year-old has secured five prestigious Filmfare Awards (India's Oscars) and has been consistently featured on Forbes India's esteemed annual Celebrity 100 list since 2014. Renowned as one of India's highest-paid actresses, Alia's remarkable accomplishments have led her to venture into Hollywood. She has now made her debut in Netflix's Heart of Stone, sharing the screen with Jamie Dornan and Gal Gadot.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

Taking the lead in a whole show is a tough job, especially when it's your first time acting professionally. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan managed to do just that and also got a lot of praise for her role as Devi Vishwakumar in Never Have I Ever. This show is all about an Indian-American teen's high school experiences. Because of her impressive work, she became really popular. In 2021, Time's 100 Next List named her a Breakout Actor. Maitreyi, who is Canadian-Tamil, even got a special award, the Radius Award, from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television at the 10th Canadian Screen Awards. She's become a big hit on Netflix, and next, she's going to be in a new romantic comedy from them called The Netherfield Girls. This movie is a modern version of a story by Jane Austen called Pride and Prejudice.

Ramakrishnan's roots lie in Mississauga, Ontario, where she was both born and raised. Her parents, Eelam Tamil Hindus, came to Canada as refugees from Sri Lanka, escaping the civil war. While she was born in Sri Lanka, she prefers to identify as Tamil Canadian rather than Sri Lankan. Her education took her to Lisgar Middle School initially, and she later completed her studies at Meadowvale Secondary School.

Ritu Arya

Meet the South Asian superstar of the Barbie world – Ritu Arya! Landing a role in Greta Gerwig's remarkable Barbie movie is a huge accomplishment. But this British-Indian actress has been working hard for a while. She was even nominated for a British Soap Award for her part in the show Doctors early in her career. After training at the Oxford School of Drama, she impressed as Lila Pitts in Netflix's The Umbrella Academy's second season. She also shone in Niza Manzoor's breakout comedy, Polite Society. Ritu has a soft spot for the British comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, which she believes was a game-changer while she was growing up.

Ritu Arya hails from a family immersed in the real estate field, with both her mother and father being part of it. Her Indian heritage is complemented by two brothers, Romi and Rahul, the latter carving a path in the acting realm as well. Embarking on her acting journey during her teenage years, Arya's pursuits took her to the University of Southampton, where she achieved a BSc in Astrophysics. There, she showcased her talents as an integral member of the Southampton University Theatre Group and Comedy Society, actively participating in several productions at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her dedication led her to further honing her craft at the esteemed Oxford School of Drama.


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